often stop eating in captivity. Although anorexia may be the first sign of a
disease, it is not necessarily related to health problems. Some reptiles will go
through seasonal changes in appetite related to mating seasons, pregnancy or
change in day/night ratio.
reptiles, especially herbivores (plant eaters) feed daily and are not well
adapted to prolonged starvation. Iguanas
usually feed daily and so do many tropical reptile species.
in captivity can be very stressful for reptiles. Captive environment should
mimic the natural habitat. Differences in humidity, lighting, temperature or
pressure may create inadequate conditions for the pet reptile. Space,
ventilation and cage set-up also greatly influence how reptiles feel and behave.
There are also individual factors - some reptiles adapt better then others to
reptiles often stop eating and develop a dysadaptation syndrome. They
progressively deteriorate, lose weight and die. Stress suppresses the immune
system and predispose to infections. Bacteriae, viruses and parasites multiply
rapidly and cause diseases. Sick reptiles do not eat; they become energy
depleted and succumb to diseases.
reptiles become anorexic, the cause needs to be determined. Sick reptiles are
often treated with antibiotics and parasiticides. Dehydrated patients receive
fluid therapy. The veterinarian might also use appetite stimulants and vitamins.
A habitat and husbandry correction is integrated into the treatment plan.
is extremely important to visit a herpeto-veterinarian upon acquisition of a new
pet reptile. Keeping reptiles requires expertise which new owners must acquire
in order to keep their pet reptiles healthy.